Author Anthony ONeal presents ideas, examples, best practices, and a clear roadmap to sending a child through college while avoiding student debt in his book “Debt-Free Degree.” ONeal explains how initiating the dialogue about debt-free college education as early as the middle school will improve a child’s college experience and allow them to graduate with little or no student loan debt. “By and large, ‘Debt-Free Degree’ is exceptionally well-organized, and it provides a means of responsibly preparing students and families financially for college and putting students in the best possible position to succeed.
According to research, the average American college graduate has $35,000 in student loan debt, and it will take more than 20 years to repay those loans. Because of overwhelming debt, millennials are finding it difficult to save for retirement and are deferring home purchases and even marriage.
“Debt does not open doors for graduates; it closes them,” ONeal explains. “Many of us are aware of the destruction caused by the student debt problem in our own lives.” Why would we want to put our children in the same situation we are in? I want people to know that it is possible to attend college debt-free – all they need is a strategy to get there.”
“Debt-Free Degree” contains a timeline with specific measures that parents and kids can take starting in middle school to prepare for life after high schools, such as:
- How to Determine Whether Your Child Should Attend College
- Steps for parents of juniors and seniors who have no college savings.
- Tips for preparing your child (and yourself) emotionally and financially for college
- When and how should you take the ACT and SAT?
- The most efficient methods for applying for scholarships and grants
- How to Conduct College Visits Correctly
- How to Select a Major
A college degree should prepare a person for their career, not deprive them of their paycheck and independence for decades. Debt-Free Degree teaches parents how to pay for college with cash while still preparing their child for life success.
The author’s straightforward approach to scholarship searches and clear explanation of the differences between the SAT and ACT would benefit both families with prior college experience and those who are new to the process, potentially improving college access and completion for first-generation students.
According to ONeal, the most essential message from his book is, “Your child’s future success is not dependent on a prestigious education! Your child’s achievement is entirely dependent on him or her.” It is critical for your child’s success, to be honest, and straightforward with them about their college education, degree programme, and affordability. The author takes it a step further by advocating community college attendance, dual degree courses, advanced placement and honours classes in high school, and job shadowing. Families may lessen the stress of debt and focus on accomplishing educational goals, including graduation, by using the best practices recommended in the book and having ongoing, candid talks.